High-speed rail is the hot topic as certain lines across Asia and Europe are gaining preference over air travel, according to Bloomberg analysis. We pinpoint the routes making travel more quick and convenient to find out how it’s done.

Also, a $2bn high-speed rail line connecting Jerusalem with Tel Aviv has been completed in Israel after a 17-year slog. Designed to reduce the 37-mile trek to 28 minutes, the project hit numerous long delays and political controversies but is finally firmly in place. We assess how this new high-speed rail line is set to change commuting and the economy in Israel.

In other sectors, we profile plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail in the UK, get insight into the rapid growth of Asia Pacific projects, while in technology we speak to the team behind the project to 3D print train cars from new materials, hear how drones were used to survey lines in south-eastern Spain and create digital models of the rail corridor, and take a look at a new train ticket-buying app that lets travellers bid for empty first class seats.

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In this issue

The great potential of Northern Powerhouse Rail
Plans to build a ‘Northern Powerhouse Rail’ are afoot, creating a fast line between the biggest cities in the north of England. The new line is expected to boost the local economies, connect 1.3 million people and create 850,000 jobs. So how will it look, and why is it happening now?
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Railway projects across Asia Pacific
The Asia Pacific region continues to set the pace for global economic expansion, investment, and infrastructure development, with India and Vietnam among the fastest growers. Here, Timetric tracks the major projects and investments dominating the region.
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High-speed rail routes taking on the air industry
Bloomberg analysis recently found that on certain routes across Asia and Europe, high-speed train travel is more quick and convenient than flying. From Beijing to Shanghai, and London to Paris, we pinpoint the routes where passengers prefer train travel, and hear how these lines gained their popularity.
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Jerusalem to Tel Aviv: a historic high-speed journey
After 17 years of planning and construction, a new $2bn high-speed rail connecting Jerusalem with Tel Aviv has been completed in Israel. We assess how high-speed rail is set to change the landscape of travel in Israel and what challenges it faces moving into 2018.
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SigmaRail: using drones to map Spanish railways
Spanish firm Sigma-Rail recently used drones to survey the Alicante-Murcia high-speed line in south-eastern Spain. The information gathered is being used to create an accurate digital model of the rail corridor in order to validate performance and examine engineering priorities. We find out more about this first programme to feed data captured by a drone into ERTMS Level 2 equipment.
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Run2Rail: bringing 3D printing to rail design
A new European project led by researchers at Huddersfield University’s Institute for Railway Research, is planning to explore using carbon fibre and 3D printing techniques to design trains that are lighter, more reliable and less noisy. We speak to the research team to find out how these new materials could revolutionise rail construction and operations.
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Seatfrog: the app that auctions off first class seats
A new train app in the UK called Seatfrog allows passengers to bid for upgrades to otherwise empty first class seats for as little as £5. According to the company, the app will open up first class travel by allowing passengers to use their smartphones to bid for upgrades up to 30 minutes before departure. We find out how it works.
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Preview – Future Rail April

Alstom will unveil the next generation of its Citadis X05 trams in March. Touted as the most innovative trams in the world, the X05s will soon start servicing the West-East Line in Nice, France. We visited the company’s manufacturing site to take a first look at the technology before its launch.

With the deadline for Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation in the US fast approaching, Amtrak may suspend services that haven’t introduced the technology by the end of the year. In this issue, we unpick the technical and organisational challenges involved in rolling out PTC across America.

Also, we ask how the UK Government plans to phase-out diesel-only trains by 2040, uncover the truth of Japan’s supposedly punctual rush hour train services, examine the impact of open transport trials to see if free train travel makes sense, and speak to Loco2 train ticket search engine about pricing and availability across Europe.

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